STEM Role Models

Profile photo of Liya Oster:Liya Oster

I am a biophysics PhD student in Prof. Daniel Fletcher’s lab in the Bioengineering department, where I study cell-cell fusion. Cell-cell fusion is involved in many key biological processes, including fertilization, placenta formation, and skeletal muscle fiber development and repair. I am specifically interested in the cell-cell fusion mediated by the recently-discovered vertebrate skeletal muscle fusion proteins myomaker and myomixer. How these two proteins mediate cell-cell fusion is largely unknown, and in my research, I aim to discover the biological and biophysical requirements for myomaker- and myomixer-mediated fusion.

NERDS welcomed me to Berkeley during my summer as an undergraduate researcher and gave me a community I could rely on. Not only did they prepare me to apply for graduate school, but supported me through all the ups and downs of research. Without my summer experience at NERDS, I wouldn't have the tools and guidance I needed to apply for graduate school, and I'm so happy I can give back to the community that helped me so much.

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